Sonia Gomes's Reviews > Gentlemen and Players

Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris
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's review
Dec 12, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: good-but-not-fantastic, kids, thrillers

** spoiler alert ** How do you feel when you know you are nothing but the porter’s son and will never ever be accepted by any of the boys at St. Oswald’s?
Oh the agony of being overlooked, ignored, despised when you know that you are as good maybe even better than those snoots.
That’s when you transform yourself from Julian Snyde into Julian Pinchbeck, as Julian Pinchbeck you have the run of St. Oswald's, as the porter’s son you have the bunch of keys that allows you to inspect every nook and cranny of St. Oswald, you know its secrets, its joys and aspirations. As Julian Pinchbeck you can eavesdrop into classes, although never an integral part of St. Oswald, you absorb knowledge like a sponge, you even have a mentor who you respect but also dislike.
Although you feel a part of St. Oswald you know that you will never belong and that turns into a violent hatred for St. Oswald.
And then along comes Leon the rebel…….You love him with a passion, you will do anything, just about anything to be his friend even when he treats you, your father the porter, and all other people in your social class as something revolting.
And then Leon finds out your true identity…….you cannot imagine your life after that, you just cannot imagine…….and then you push him off the roof.
You start a new life far away in France but you are never as vulnerable as you were as the porter’s child. You are now educated and know how to look after yourself pretty well, but all along you nurture that awful hatred for St. Oswald’s, you plot and plan your revenge for a decade and then you return to St. Oswald to wreak your terrible revenge from the very inside of St. Oswald, from its very soul you plan to finish St. Oswald. But what new avatar are you planning on?...........

If you look at Julian Snyde/ Julian Pinchbeck's life, it could be ours too. How many times have we suffered slights, people ignoring you, people treating you like a bucket of garbage just because you do not belong to a particular social class, because we are not rich enough, the list is endless....And the harder you try the more you fail.

Isn't it better then to be your own poor self? Not to compete? Not to try to be someone or something you just cannot be? So much more comfortable, so much more at ease? Doing what you love and trying not to strive to be someone else. For in such cases the race is endless and the goal never in sight.
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